With sky-high tuition prices like this, it’s no wonder law school has become a game of loans.
* Unfortunately, it seems that if you want to get an elite legal education in this country, you’re going to have to pay an arm and a leg for it. This year’s NLJ Top 10 Go-To Law Schools each have a sticker price that’s greater than $50K. [National Law Journal]
* Hamline University’s president thinks it was smarter for her law school to merge with William Mitchell Law than for it to close altogether — hey, it’ll still bear the Hamline name and its dying carcass won’t be on her books anymore! [Star Tribune]
* Later this week, SCOTUS will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a case that could decimate the Affordable Care Act as we know it. At this point, the justices must be contemplating how many people will lose if the plaintiffs here win. [Wall Street Journal]
* An ADA from the Brooklyn DA’s office who prosecuted drug cases was canned after his colleagues learned that he failed to report his personal connection to an admitted cocaine dealer. Perhaps they were jealous he refused to share his hookup. [New York Daily News]
* In case you missed it, Above the Law, your favorite legal website, has been “rankle[d]” by a new series on CNNMoney called “Above the Law.” We know you’re as ticked off about this as we are, so we hope you’ll help us write our cease-and-desist letter. [Am Law Daily]
Kinney is currently running an exclusive search for an Asia GC role at a well known tech start-up company, based in Shenzhen. This company has received significant recent praise for their new smart phone device in leading medial outlets, such as the New York Times, TIME, Mashable, Wired, Yahoo, and Forbes, among others.
Getting a law degree these days is kind of like taking all of your money and burning it.
* Alan Dershowitz vowed to sue the lawyers who alleged he took part in a sex scandal for defamation, but it looks like he was too slow — they sued him for defamation first. The Dersh, however, seemed pleased as punch by the news: “This makes my day.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* Illinois passed some of the toughest anti-revenge-porn legislation the country has seen to date. With possible jail time and huge fines, maybe people will be inspired to be decent human beings… but we doubt it. [International Business Times]
* Welcome to 2015: In what’s being called the “running of the laterals,” many Biglaw partners and associates are making their moves and taking their practices to different firms and businesses. We hope everyone collected their bonuses! [Am Law Daily]
* You may be “troubled by a program where people at the bottom pay for the people at the top,” but it’s happening at law schools across the country. Students with low LSAT scores are subsidizing their classmates’ education. [National Law Journal]
* Meanwhile, getting into law school with lower LSAT scores is easier than it’s ever been before. From 2010 to 2013, nearly all of the nation’s Top 20 law schools admitted students with lower test scores. Thank them for paying your tuition. [Businessweek]
* An African-American Cleary Gottlieb project attorney is suing, claiming that the firm discriminated against him when he was fired. He alleges that white lawyers kept their jobs, but he lost his because he was black. [Legal Times]
* For law deans, hindsight is 180: This D.C.-area school “aggressively” raised tuition when everyone decided to go to law school to ride out the recession, and now its dean is admitting that doing so was a “mistake.” [Washington Post]
* “I want to bring blind justice to the Michigan Supreme Court.” Come New Year’s Day, Richard Bernstein — who has been legally blind since birth — will do just that when he’s sworn in to serve on the state’s highest court. Congratulations! [WSJ Law Blog]
* It’s important to learn the skill of entrepreneurship as part of today’s legal education since you never know when you’ll be forced to open your own practice because you can’t get someone else to give you a job. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* Associate bonuses aren’t the only charitable causes Biglaw firms are willing to throw money at in a given year. In fact, some firms dole out millions upon millions of dollars for the purpose of doing good and supporting their communities. [Am Law Daily]
* Morgan Lewis may be pretty pleased with itself now that it gets to gobble up most of Bingham McCutchen’s partners, but some day soon, it may be forced to “choke a bit” on remains of the dying firm’s carcass. [Philadelphia Business Journal]
* Yesterday, we wondered what would happen to Bingham McCutchen’s brand new back-office operation in Kentucky. Now, the pieces are starting to come together. We may have more on this interesting development later. [Am Law Daily]
* A Connecticut criminal defense firm’s managing partner who teaches at UConn Law was picked up in a prostitution sting last week. At least he’s got the skills to represent himself. [Connecticut Law Tribune]
* The NCBE thinks bar exam takers were “less able” than in prior years, but the organization seems to have forgotten that ExamSoft was “less able” to perform its one freaking job. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
* You must be whacked in the mind if you think law school tuition has anything to do with public service loan forgiveness. Law school tuition is high because people are still willing to pay for it. [Huffington Post]
* While she may have “one of the broadest and most expansive roles” in West Wing history, thanks to this article, Valerie Jarrett can add a new title to her résumé: “Obama Whisperer.” [New Republic]
* Alumni from failed firms — or “dead firm alums,” which makes them sound like ghosts — have been having reunions to remember the good times at their former Biglaw homes. Aww, cute. [Am Law Daily]
* Everyone’s freaking out about the decline in bar exam scores, even deans. Brooklyn Law’s dean got into it with the NCBE’s head over her “offensive” comments about July ’14 takers. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Speaking of the bar exam, here’s a comparison between the amount students pay in law school tuition and the likelihood of passing the test on the first try. Spoiler: it doesn’t really matter. [Huffington Post]
* Here’s how to determine how badly you screwed up the LSAT. Step 1) Realize you took the test because you don’t know what else to do with your life. No more steps. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
How much will next year cost for these students already paying over $50K/year?
Oh look, it’s a law school competing on price instead of BS.
The law school is looking at potentially “catastrophic” consequences. Yikes!
Turns out, people DO want to go to law school — if it’s cheap.
* Justice Sonia Sotomayor insists that her meeting with Hillary Clinton at Costco wasn’t planned. She just wanted to say hello to the “other lady,” as referenced by the woman at the store’s pharmacy counter. [Washington Post]
* Six U.K. firm leaders got together to talk about how to run their practices during challenging economic times. It turns out they’d prefer not to run their firms into the ground. [The Lawyer]
* Look out everyone, because Taylor Wessing, an international law firm that’s known for its IP, media, and telecommunications work, is storming both coasts of the United States in its very own dual office launch Biglaw blitzkrieg. [Am Law Daily]
* “It is a shameful canard that student loans and indebtedness are the cause of high tuition. They are not; they are the symptom,” says a law dean standing up for his students. [Chronicle of Higher Education]
* If you want to go to law school and you’ve got an undergrad degree in a technical area like engineering, then congrats. You might stand to get a job after graduation. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* Federal judges still have financial allegiances to their former firms that are reported on their mandatory annual disclosures. At least one appellate judge — Jay Bybee of the Ninth Circuit — made a killing after confirmation. [National Law Journal]
* After “a challenging 2013,” Bingham McCutchen is leaking lawyers like a sieve. Fourteen attorneys, including nine partners, recently decided to leave the firm, and they’re all headed to different Biglaw locales. [WSJ Law Blog via Reuters]
* Just one day after Donald Sterling was declared “mentally incapacitated,” he filed a lawsuit against the NBA, seeking more than $1 billion in damages. Skadden lawyers are stripping off their warm-up suits to take it to the court. [USA Today]
* This Am Law 200 firm thinks it figured out a way to help women combine their careers and home lives — by hiring a role model/mentor with an almost six-figure salary. Good idea or bad? [Dallas Morning News]
* We’ve got some breaking news for our readers from the “no sh*t” department: Law schools are competing to cut costs based on a shrinking applicant pool, but tuition is still quite unaffordable. [Houston Chronicle]
* Lewis Katz, co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer and alumnus of Dickinson Law, RIP. [Onward State]
* Footnote fight! Justice Sonia Sotomayor has been clashing with quite a few of her fellow Supreme Court jurists lately, aside from Chief Justice John Roberts. She recently inspired the wrath of Justice RBG herself. [New York Times]
* After months of being poked and prodded for cash, 60 former Howrey equity partners have reached clawback deals with bankruptcy trustee Allan Diamond, and it looks like a few of them agreed to pay pretty hefty sums. [Am Law Daily]
* Here’s a headline we could’ve told you was coming: “The US lawyer bubble has conclusively popped.” It’s not a terribly good decision to attend now, but if you do, people who can’t pay you need your help. [Quartz]
* Cutting law school tuition may be a good idea to attract more students, but in the long run, it could hurt the schools, says Moody’s. Aww, let us shed some tears for those poor law schools. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Crim Law prof not guilty of… crime. Stephen Smith of Notre Dame Law was acquitted on a misdemeanor invasion of privacy charge, and the felony battery charge he faced was dismissed. [South Bend Tribune]
* The University of Arizona will be the first school in the U.S. to offer a bachelor’s degree in law. The degree is being marketed to people who eventually want to have lots of law-related debt. [National Law Journal]